Gerald S. Matter, known to everyone as Jerry, age 85, passed away peacefully at his home in Nauvoo, Illinois on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Jerry was born on February 20, 1934 in Naperville, Illinois to Myron and Evelyn (Lasanska) Matter.
He served in the United States Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. After completing his military service Jerry raced midget cars and was known as the “Whiz Kid.” A crowd favorite on the track, he was eventually inducted into the Mazon Speed Bowl and Grundy County Speedway Hall of Fame. On November 7, 1962 he married Karen Asbell and they had three children: Troy, Julie and Nancy. They later divorced.
He was a union electrician with the IBEW, Local 13. Jerry’s passions included world travel, shooting competitions, including 1000 yard matches, big band music, duck hunting and boating the major rivers in the world. He traveled the Mississippi River, beginning at Lake Itasca and finishing his journey at the mouth of the river in Pilottown, Louisiana. His travels saw him visit more than 50 countries. He was a member of the Mississippi Valley Vintage Racing Club (MVVRC), the NRA, and the Hancock County Gun Club. Jerry was an avid reader of nonfiction and loved racing his Offy vintage midget race car with his last race at age 83.
Jerry is survived by his son, Troy (Candy) Matter of Fort Madison, Iowa and his daughters, Julie (Pete) Mutuc of Boulder, Colorado and Nancy Matter of Boulder, Colorado. He has three grandchildren: Claudia, Finn, and Sloane. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Thomas C. Matter.
A celebration of Jerry’s life is being planned for a later date. Cards and memorials can be sent to Barr Memorial Chapel, 1919 Ave F, Fort Madison, Iowa 52627. Barr Memorial Chapel is honored to serve the Matter family and an online guest book may be found at www.barrmemorialchapel.com.